PM: 'Mistake' to go back to austerity because of coronavirus pandemic

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the construction site of Ealing Fields High School in west London on Monday

Calling COVID-19 a disaster and an "absolute nightmare" for Britain, Johnson said the crisis could be the impetus for lasting reform, vowing to double down on investment to see Britain through the economic fallout from the pandemic. Recalling his treatment, Johnson said that he did not think at any point he was going to die.

Boris Johnson has said the fact that more pupils in Britain are not back at school is a source of "deep frustration" for him.

He said this would "get business to be confident, to start investing, to start taking people back on and start creating new jobs and driving new growth". Three-quarters of the budget will go to repairs and upgrades to schools and further education colleges, respectively, this year.

In some parts of the country, including Yorkshire, East Midlands and the South West, investment per person is still less than half that seen in London, said Labour. "Let's not mince our words".

Johnson promised a "Rooseveltian approach", invoking the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that helped wrench the United States out of the Great Depression.

"So what we're going to be doing in the next few months is really doubling down on our initial agenda which was all about investment, if you remember, in infrastructure, in education, in technology, to bring the country together", the Prime Minister said.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with year 10 pupil Vedant Jitesh during a visit to the construction site of Ealing Fields High School in west London Monday
Coronavirus has been 'a disaster' for Britain, PM Johnson says

Mr Johnson, speaking before a school visit planned for Monday, said: "All children deserve the best possible start in life - regardless of their background or where they live".

"I have taken a very libertarian stance on obesity but actually when you look at the numbers, when you look at the pressure on the NHS, compare, I'm afraid this wonderful country of ours to other European countries, we are significantly fatter than most others, apart from the Maltese for some reason".

"I don't think the moment is right now for consecrating a huge amount of official time to all that, but we are learning lessons the whole time and we obviously will draw the right conclusions for the future".

The Prime Minister noted that the United Kingdom was "significantly fatter" than other European nations and would be "more resistant to diseases like Covid if we can tackle obesity". "It is hugely costly for the NHS". And I don't think- I don't think politicians can treat it as irrelevant. "Now how you talk about it how you address it how you practically make the difference, that's what we're looking at", he concluded.

"As we bounce back from the pandemic, it's important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission", Johnson said in a statement.

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